Sloppy WI let off Bangladesh
KINGSTOWN, St Vincent (CMC):Half-centuries from plucky skipper Mushfiqur Rahim and all-rounder Mahmudullah, coupled with a healthy dose of mediocrity from West Indies, gave Bangladesh a stay of execution on the penultimate day of the opening Test yesterday.
Facing a comprehensive defeat after stumbling to 110 for four at lunch, Mushfiqur stroked an unbeaten 70, while Mahmudullah gathered a courageous 66, as Bangladesh fought back gallantly to finish the day at Arnos Vale on 256 for five.
The pair added a precious 130 for the fifth wicket, a stand that was as much a result of the batsmen's resilience as it was the Windies ineptitude. Still, the hosts remained on course for victory with the visitors still needing another 46 runs to avoid an innings defeat, on today's final day.
Left-handed opener Tamim Iqbal chipped in with an attacking 53, while Imrul Kayes hit 25, but seamer Kemar Roach (2-39) and left-arm spinner Sulieman Benn (2-44) struck at key moments to keep the innings unstable.
Bowled out on the stroke of the close on Sunday, Bangladesh found themselves at the crease again after West Indies enforced the follow on, and once again their start proved miserable.
Shamsur Rahman lasted all of eight deliveries before edging Roach behind for four in the fourth over of the day at 11 for one.
Bangladesh had the damage repaired by Tamim and Kayes, who hit 25, in a 70-run, second-wicket stand. Tamim hammered four fours and three sixes off 107 balls, while Imrul provided the perfect foil, batting an hour and a half, facing 72 balls and cracking four fours.
However, his dismissal proved a soft one in the end, tamely patting part-time off-spinner Chris Gayle into Kirk Edwards' hands at cover.
With lunch approaching, Benn struck two key blows, having Mominul Haque caught at the wicket for 12 with the score on 104 and then bowling Tamim with three runs added, as the batsman missed an attacking back foot stroke.
After lunch, Mushfiqur and Mahmudullah resisted stoutly and batted through the session, courtesy of poor work in the field.
Unbeaten on one at lunch, Mushfiqur had battled to 10 about 40 minutes after the resumption when he nicked one from Roach to first slip where Gayle grassed the chance.
Mushfiqur was then given another reprieve on 25, slicing Taylor to gully where Darren Bravo dived to his right, but failed to hang on.
Mahmudullah was too a recipient of the Windies' sloppiness when on 53, he skied a simple catch to cover off Gayle, only for Edwards to unbelievably muff the opportunity.
Thankfully, Mahmudullah survived just 22 more deliveries before Roach removed him to a catch at the wicket with the second new ball.